Breastfeeding Promotion and Support is a core job responsibility of WIC staff. WIC staff:
- Actively support and promote breastfeeding with all pregnant and breastfeeding clients.
- Use client-centered support, education and materials (Excel).
Learn more about your role in the WIC Policy and Procedure Manual, Volume 1, Chapter 15–Breastfeeding (PDF).
Washington WIC has some of the highest breastfeeding rates in the country. We are passionate in our quest to help WIC moms achieve their breastfeeding goals.
Promoting Breastfeeding at the Community Level
The Washington State WIC Nutrition Program:
- Provides funding to the Breastfeeding Coalition of Washington (BCW). The BCW works to address obstacles breastfeeding women face in their day to day lives.
- Requires local agencies to support breastfeeding promotion activities identified by CDC as effective breastfeeding interventions.
- Coordinates with hospitals and birth centers to improve maternity care practices impacting breastfeeding.
- Conducts outreach and education for employers.
- Ensures that WIC staff have up to date training on how to support breastfeeding women.
- Requires every local WIC agency to have a Breastfeeding Coordinator. This staff person develops clinic breastfeeding promotion and support activities, and works in the community supporting breastfeeding promotion efforts.
Healthcare providers, employers, and communities play a vital role in supporting breastfeeding families. Many factors affect a woman's decision to breastfeed and her success in continuing to breastfeed. Some important factors include:
- Their medical providers' early recommendation to breastfeed and ongoing support for breastfeeding.
- Hospital procedures facilitating breastfeeding. These include 24-hour rooming-in, skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth, not supplementing breastfeeding infants with formula or glucose water, and not providing formula discharge bags.
- Family, partner and peer support.
- Worksite breastfeeding policies in compliance with the Affordable Care Act (PDF).
- Normalizing breastfeeding in the media.